The LINE Corporation announced a number of new ventures during a press conference in Tokyo today, but the most notable news for game industry professionals is the creation of Epic Voyage Inc. -- A new company formed as part of a deal with Gree that will be staffed with Gree veterans and develop games specifically for the LINE social games platform.
This is part of a continued push on LINE's part to beef up its stables of games. In August, the company announced plans to spend $100 million
on its "LINE Game Global Gateway" program, an initiative to pay developers to make LINE games.
"We’re looking forward to bringing some of [our] accumulated expertise to bear in the new company to produce high-quality games that LINE users will enjoy," Gree senior VP Naoki Aoyagi stated in a press release
confirming the launch of Epic Voyage. "By tapping into LINE’s global network, we hope to reach more people than ever with new mobile gaming experiences that will surprise and excite."
The LINE mobile messaging app launched in 2011, and a social games layer was added in 2012
-- seemingly in an effort to compete with social game giants like DeNA and Gree. At the end of last year LINE supported a network of over 300 million registered users and revenues of 34.3 billion yen ($338 million) -- with roughly 60 percent of that coming from in-game purchases.